[ASC-list] Beyond science communication...

Kaye Hargreaves kh at netspace.net.au
Fri Feb 7 20:36:48 UTC 2014

I remember some years ago the Victorian Government commissioned an inquiry into an environmental issue. The report based on environmental impact and doing the science was quite clear and made specific recommendations. The government ignored the recommendations and went ahead with a different decision. 

I remember feeling outraged, but the Minister said the report was only one thing he had to consider. He also took into account other factors such as economic policy and impact on employment. These were outside the terms of reference of the report. He might have been weaseling, but nevertheless I think he had a point. The three bullet points provided by the researchers had to take their place jostling amongst other interests. This is a huge issue. 

Take the Murray-Darling. There is a major environmental disaster, multiple jurisdictions (four States and the Commonwealth), numerous local government areas and statutory authorities, numerous private property owners, different land uses, people wanting water for irrigation, others to provide water sports and recreational uses to allow towns to survive as tourist destinations, and so on. On top of it all, we have a Constitution that does not give the commonwealth power to make laws in respect of the environment. If ever such a power was needed, it is here. So this goes way beyond merely informative. 


>   1. Beyond Science Communication: Informative versus    Prescriptive
>      Advocacy (Michelle Kovacevic)

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